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Defending life
from conception to natural death


Thousands sign petition urging health minister to strip Marie Stopes of its licence

7 August 2017

​Presenting the petition to the department of Health: Life chief executive Stephen Sharpe, Life chair Laura Higgins, and SPUC chief executive John Smeaton. Credit:

A petition signed by thousands of pro-lifers calling on Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to strip Marie Stopes International (MSI) of its abortion licence in the wake of scandalous practices, was delivered today. 

Over 16,000 people have backed the call after media investigations revealed that MSI - the country’s second largest abortion provider - has been approving thousands of abortions without meeting women, with some discussions of the reason for the abortion lasting as little as 22 seconds.

Dangerous and illegal practices

The petition was launched in the wake of a damning report by the Care Quality Commission, which uncovered a catalogue of dangerous and illegal practices, and was a joint initiative between SPUC and Life. 

Delivering the petition to Mr Hunt’s office in Whitehall today, Antonia Tully, SPUC’s director of campaigns, said: "Marie Stopes International has been exposed for behaving shamefully in breach of the law. Mr Hunt has a duty to act to uphold the law and this petition demonstrates the strength of feeling in the court of public opinion. It is about time the Health Secretary referred these scandalous matters to the prosecuting authorities to allow the criminal courts to become involved too.

We care about women

"The pro-abortion lobby is pushing for decriminalisation of abortion in Britain and in Northern Ireland because they don't care about the impact of abortion on women or refuse to look at what that impact is. We care that women who have an abortion experience mental health problems 30% more often compared with women who give birth. It matters to us that a study has shown that the risk of suicide is approximately six times greater after an abortion than after childbirth."

Stop MSI carrying out abortions

Life chief executive, Stephen Sharpe, said: "In December last year, the Care Quality Commission uncovered a catalogue of dangerous and illegal practices at Marie Stopes International private abortion clinics. In view of such appalling treatment of women, not to mention their continuing callous disregard for unborn children, we are calling on the Secretary of State for Health to withdraw from Marie Stopes International (MSI) the licence to carry out abortions."

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Comments (1)

  • Nadia

    11 August 2017, 9:02pm

    If they MSI is claiming it is a private clinic then why is they taxpayer expected to fund this nasty organisation at all. Most people in this country and abroad know who they are and what they stand for. Sadly most young men do not want babies they just want fun without any responsibility for their actions. Some married men feel the same way. So, what can be done?

    Sex education has obviously not worked, if anything it has made the young more curious to explore. Surely their parents should be able to advise their young on this matter and not some third party like MSI. What sort of democracy are we living in when people who do not agree with the abortion law are ignored or targeted by a certain group yet are still expected to pay out of their taxes for the upkeep of this organisation?!

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